By Peggy Berry

Guest Columnist

One woman can make a difference but together we can ROCK our world.

An inspiring woman is defined by some as an ordinary woman who has overcome obstacles and challenges to do something extraordinary.  Well, that was my first definition of an inspiring woman.   But as I thought about the women who inspire me they are not women who will make the news or the front cover of a magazine. My definition of an inspiring woman is one finds the extraordinary in the ordinary experiences of life.  Women who love their children; who look for the best in their mother-in-law or mother; who are polite and show gratitude to those they encounter during the day; who find time to volunteer; who find joy and happiness in their older years; who put others above themselves and who are humble, generous and have a sense of humor.

I’ll be honest. What inspires me has changed over the years.

What characteristics come to mind when you consider an inspiring mother, a grandmother, a business colleague, a sister, a mentor or a friend?  Inspiring women help us learn about ourselves and give us hope for the future.  They invest in our lives.  They ignite a fire within us to pursue great things – to be our best and to do our best. Inspiring women give. Inspiring women work with all people for the betterment of our community. Inspiring women see the best in others.  Inspiring women seem to come along at just the right time.  Together, women can “rock” their world with their passion, hard work and investment in their families, friendships, work relationships and community.

What inspires you and how have you been inspired? The Women’s Fund of Smith County will celebrate mothers and inspiring women at a luncheon on Thursday, May 5. You’ll hear moving stories from women who will inspire you – mothers, a daughter and a daughter-in-law about how they inspire one another.  You’ll hear from a client of Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County about her journey to recovery from sexual assault. Join us for lunch and celebrate an inspiring woman with a $20 gift in her honor.  Your honoree will be recognized at the luncheon and receive a special card indicating a gift was made in her honor.

Together, we can “rock” our East Texas community by participating in East Texas Giving Day on May 3rd !  For 24 hours, the Women’s Fund of Smith County will join other nonprofits as part of the area-wide Giving Day, bringing our region together on one day and as one community, raising money and awareness for East Texas charities.  You can honor your mother or inspiring woman with a $20 (or more) gift in her honor on this day by going to, find The Women’s Fund of Smith County under the category ‘community improvement,’ and make a gift to honor an inspiring woman at

All tribute gifts from the Mother’s Day Luncheon and East Texas Giving Day tribute gifts will support the Women’s Fund of Smith County and stay in our community.

Will you recognize the work of those women who inspire you? The Women’s Fund would love to hear the story of a woman who’s made a difference in your life, or your own story. Send your stories to

Tickets to the May 5 Mother’s Day Luncheon, set for 11:30 a.m. at Willow Brook Country Club, may be purchased at  Seating is limited. Please be a part of this special event honoring mothers and all of the women who make a difference in our lives and our community. Bring your mother or another inspiring woman – you don’t have to be a member of the Women’s Fund to come to the luncheon!

Be sure to donate to area nonprofits, including the Women’s Fund of Smith County, during East Texas Giving Day on May 3.  Together, let’s “rock” our East Texas world with donations to make a difference in lives that inspire.

Peggy Berry, President of Peggy Berry Consulting, serves on the board of directors of Women’s Fund of Smith County. The Women’s Fund of Smith County is a nonprofit organization that leverages the philanthropic capacity of women as a catalyst for change. For information about joining go to or call 903.509.1771.